Ah, Paris! It was just as beautiful, unique, and stylish as I had expected!
Peter instantly bonded with his new best friend, Tom. Tom was good enough to read a story to him while we waited for our food. (Because French cafes, though adorable, are a little cramped and not very kid friendly. So Peter had to stay very, very still.)
After lunch, Tom headed to class and we set out to explore Paris!
First stop: the Arc de Triomphe! We snapped photos of this massive structure over the Champs Elysses--a busy, noisy street.
We walked a bit further to catch our first glimpse of THE one-and-only...Eiffel Tower! It was much bigger than we had pictured and just as lovely as we'd imagined. So, of course, we had to take a zillion pictures!
Our visit was just a few days after Valentine's Day! Well played, Dan Beaudoin.
Aw, my sweethearts!
We continued our stroll through Paris with all of its sights! We walked by the building where Napoleon is buried and peeked through a fence to catch a glimpse of the famous "The Thinker" sculpture in an outdoor garden (we were too cheap and too short on time to go inside).
Next, we visited the Church of Saint Vincent de Paul. Saint Vincent de Paul's incorrupt body is entombed there! What a beautiful, powerful place for silent prayer before Christ and His faithful servant.
Then, we walked to the Church of the Miraculous Medal. Here, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine Laboure three times and showed her the image to use in the design of the Miraculous Medal. It was a beautiful church filled with quiet, prayerful pilgrims.
After spending time in prayer, we continued our walk through the streets of Paris. The sun had set and everything seemed even more impressive at night.
Isn't this an incredible sculpture of Saint Michael the Archangel?
Oooooh la la! Paris came alive at night. The lights, cafes, shop windows, art and architecture all possessed a magical glow. We caught a glimpse of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Incredible!
We met Tom outside of the Cathedral and walked to dinner together. He took us to an amazing restaurant (the BEST of the trip)!
After ordering, the waitress brought us our drinks and some intriguing looking tools. Soon, a sizzling dish of escargot was placed before us. Tom taught us how to use our "tools" and we slurped down the Parisian delicacy.
My first taste of escargot...
(Peter stuck with the bread...)
Dan's first adventurous gulp...
The verdict: snails, when covered in butter and garlic and eaten somewhere trendy like Paris, are actually quite deee-lish.
Dan...eating French fries in France. Life is good.
We waited hungrily for a long time for our main course. Finally, we discovered that in Paris, they cannot bring your main course until all of your appetizer is finished! Once we made that important discovery, we slurped the last of the escargot and our next course arrived soon after that.
For dinner, I had an absolutely heavenly duck with plum sauce and Dan tried a tasty traditional stew.
But wait. There's more.
Mmmmm...I can still taste it.
The Grand Finale:
and "Stuffed" Ice Cream
(stuffed with almonds, creme puffs, chocolate sauce, and pure happiness)
Our dinner was the perfect ending to a wonderful first day in Paris.